- The Connected Smart Cities Conference 2017 took place on January 12 in Brussels. With 370 participants registered to attend and learn from the keynote speakers and eight parallel sessions, the 4th instalment of the conference was a great success.
- The conference was opened by Martin Brynskov, Chair of Open and Agile Smart Cities (OASC). The OASC intiative was launched in 2015 and after two years 100+ cities have associated with them. The key to smart cities' success lies in the collaboration and connection between citizens, governments, universities and companies.
- OASC will also be the coordinator of the SynchroniCity Project which on a large global scale, will focus on the use of IoT in cities and on the building of a Global Smart City Market with common standards.
- The opening was followed by the morning high-level keynote speakers:
- Rapporteur: Judith Stiekema [session report]
- Markku Markkula, President of the Committee of the Regions, spoke on how cities and regions are required to continuously focus on innovation and the latest knowledge in order to deal with the trends of global ageing, increased energy demands, expected water scarcity and globalisation:
- Günther H. Oettinger, Member of the European Commission, was present in a video address. His main message was on the importance of joining and investing in smart cities. But not only investing in and talking about smart cities. Cities need to make joint collaborations and deliver to their citizens. Together we can make a difference.
- Mary-Ann Schreurs, Vice-Mayor of innovation, culture, design and sustainability for the City of Eindhoven, and Chair of EUROCITIES Knowledge Society Forum, asked the question: "Do you want to be data driven or do you want to make your own decisions?". The focus should be on human driven data, companies should not own the data. Data should be owned by the generator of the data or be publicly owned. We still need to work together with the companies, but the collaboration needs to build on open innovation and the solutions have to be created together.
- Anna-Kaisa Ikonen, Mayor of Tampere, Finland, explained and shared examples on how digitalisation and Internet of Things (IoT) is dramatically changing the cities' services and hereby citizens' lives. They are important tools for making strategical change and require action, so we do not become victims of these changes. [slides]